Flagship sponsor of Saturday’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk of Santa Monica had a long journey to wellness
By Kathy Leonardo
Shane Griffin, owner of the Santa Monica holistic wellness center Whole Life Balance, seems like a guy who has it all. He spends most of his time advocating healthy lifestyles, but not so long ago a toxic addiction to hard drugs forced him to re-evaluate his life choices.
Today, Griffin is living clean and sober in Marina del Rey and through his business frequently is frequently involved in fundraisers for health-related nonprofits. On Saturday, Griffin’s Whole Life Balance is one of three flagship sponsors of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk of Santa Monica. He’s also trying to raise $20,000 to give to the cause.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, Griffin opened his first nightclub in Toronto when he was 24. One club led to four, and soon drugs became a part of his life — ecstasy, acid and cocaine a part of his EDM-scene regimen.
“It just kept growing and growing,” he recalls, “until every single time I had a drink, I did some blow.”
This pattern continued for 20 years.
Griffin sold his nightclubs in 2009, but the loss of his identity as a bigshot nightclub owner brought on depression that made alcohol and drugs an even bigger part of his life.
It all came to a climax after he crashed a rental car overseas while trying to impress a woman and found himself alone again, in a bar again.
“I remember sitting at the pool bar at a 5 star hotel,” Griffin says. “To the right of me were 60-year-old men with pot bellies and gold chains playing grab-ass with an 18-year-old bartender. On the other side of the pool there were happy families. It was then that I realized I would never have a family if I stayed at this bar.”
Like many addicts, Griffin did not immediately enter a recovery program. But with the judgment-free help and encouragement of his brother, he was finally able to change the direction of his life.
After beating his addiction, Griffin began to build the physical and spiritual rejuvenation program that would become his next business.
With it, he says, comes a responsibility to help others on their journey inside and out.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to not be so hard on yourself,” he says. “Give yourself a break. Live your truth and make no apologies.”
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk of Santa Monica starts at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Santa Monica Pier. Visit makingstrides.acsevents.org for more information.